Shabbos is often described as a bride or queen coming to visit. The air is full of jubilation, anticipation, and preparation. And the table is set in all the splendor befitting a wedding or other joyous occasion. To this noble end, here are four ideas to help you create an enchanting Sabbath table, week after week.
Traditionally, the Shabbos table is set with two candles, two loaves of Challah with white covers, a wine cup ('Kiddush cup"), and wine or grape juice. While these are customary elements for the weekly Shabbos blessings, you can get creative with them. For example, although Shabbos candles are traditionally white, they don't have to be. Try experimenting with different colored candles or shapes and sizes, such as tapered candles for an elegant look or pillar candles for a funky flair.
Speaking of color, an artful way to create a stunning table is to use only white table elements (or another color). Set the table with traditional white linens and white candles, then add a centerpiece arranged with white flowers, such as calla lilies, hydrangeas or daisies (always keep centerpieces fairly low so guests can see over them). For more formal dinners, consider adding small white picture frames as place cards and other objects to enhance the effect.
Building on a theme, such as color, is a tried-and-true trick to creating harmony and balance in any design project. But it's also a way to celebrate special family events that have happened during the week.
In keeping with the custom of blessing children at the Shabbos dinner, you can incorporate symbols of your children or grandchildren's achievements into the table setting. Have a baseball star in the family? Slip a baseball card in each napkin ring along with the napkin. A ballerina? Use pretty, ballerina themed ponytail holders as napkin rings.
Using a ponytail holder as napkin ring is an example of incorporating objects found around the house into your table setting––a delightful way to stretch the imagination.
Other ideas? How about using a variety of sparkling brooches or pins to secure linen napkins? Or try adding elements of a menu item into your table setting, such as putting an almond on the napkin in the center of each plate. Your guests––and kids––will wonder why until you serve Almond Balls in your soup! Other ideas are rosemary sprigs, asparagus, or lemons. Just imagine the possibilities.